Find Your Competitive Edge: 6 Tips to Stand Out In Your Field

As a small business owner, you soon realize how important it is to stand out against your competition. If you don’t, what’s stopping clients and customers from brushing past you and going to someone else?

Having competition is part of the business world. There are many benefits to having friendly competition in your field. It pushes you to achieve greater goals and helps you move your business in the direction of success. However, focusing solely on the competition can become overwhelming and quite stressful.

Don’t let your business fall behind and ultimately live in the shadows of your competitors. With the following six tips from CBS-CBS.com, you can find your competitive edge and get your business at the forefront.

Price Adjustments

One of the main reasons a customer will go to one place over another is due to the price of goods and services. Adjusting your price is one way to gain a little edge over your competition, as a lower price is more appealing.

There’s a fine line when it comes to pricing, however. Going too low, and ends up destroying the quality of what you’re offering. If your goods are significantly cheaper than other places, it begs whether what you offer is truly worth the price.

Exceptional Customer Service

Many individuals will stay dedicated to a company regardless of the price difference because of its customer service. How you handle customer complaints and issues can shoot your business to the top. So, spend time focusing on how you can improve your customer service experience to make it better than your competition.

Quality Matters

The quality of what you offer is another significant way to give you a competitive edge. We live in a world where quality means something. Usually, customers are willing to spend the extra few dollars if they know it’s worth the quality.

Your Environmental Impact

Going green has never been more popular than it is now. If you show your clients that you’re economically conscious about how you conduct business, it will mean something to them.

Sustainability is more expected from companies today. However, that doesn’t mean every business follows suit. If you’re one of the few companies in your field focusing on being environmentally friendly, you’ll have the edge over your competition.

Creative and Original

Your business is there to solve a problem or provide a valuable service to your customers. For your company to stand out, you need to show your customers why you’re the best choice and how you differ from the rest.

Get creative with how you run your business. Originality is important, so you don’t look like you’re simply copying what everyone else is doing.

Have a Message and a Purpose

Why did you start your business? When you have a story and a message behind what you do, it creates a powerful connection with your customers. That is an easy way to build up trust and keep customers dedicated to you. Just make sure it’s an authentic message.

The above six tips are simple ways to help you gain a competitive edge. Notice how these points tend to revolve around the quality of your business. Show the value of what you have to offer and enjoy the increase in customers strolling in.

Can Your Business Handle a Crisis? 4 Tips to Manage Difficult Times

Prior to 2020, your business may have been immune to challenges. It could be that you’re a young company just starting to grow or you’ve been lucky so far. Fast forward to today, Covid-19 hit the majority of businesses around the globe with hardships like nonother.

From rolling shutdowns to closing doors and letting employees go, businesses of every size have battled tough terrain to keep persevering through one of the most challenging years to date. Luckily for you, it’s never too late to plan for a crisis.

Using 2020 as a learning experience, your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have four tips to help your business manage difficult times.

Don’t Turn Away Help

During a crisis, now is not the time to be a hero and tackle everything on your own. Although it’s difficult to swallow your pride and admit when you need help, it’s important you take advantage of the help when provided.

The goal is for your business to not only stay afloat during a crisis, but you want it to thrive as well. Help could come in the forms of government subsidies and grants, asking your social media following to share your business profile, or having your staff take on a few additional tasks for the time being.

Remember Your Entire Business Is Affected

As the owner, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one affected by a crisis with your business. You wear most of the hats for running the company, so you feel the biggest impact. However, it’s important to remember that your business runs thanks to your staff and team, not just you.

Be prepared to offer support to your team. The more you can keep the company morale high, the more your staff will be prepared to stick it out with you during a crisis.

Use the Time to Brainstorm New Strategies

For many businesses, 2020 was a time to reinvent their business model. Take the fitness industry as a perfect example. As gyms and fitness studios worldwide shut down, they were forced to make adjustments to their business model to keep operating. Many personal trainers and group instructors turned to online classes.

Use a crisis as a way to reflect on what works and what you could implement that allows your business to persevere through difficult times. Grab your team and have an afternoon of brainstorming new strategies. You may find that what you come up with will grow your business even when the challenging times pass.

Stay Positive

As the owner, it’s essential that you remain as positive as you possibly can. If your staff and customers see how stressed you are or that you’re losing faith in your company, it’s only a matter of time before those feelings pass to them too.

Although there’s isn’t anything wrong with showing all sides of your business, even during challenging times. You must keep a strong face with a positive attitude and show your clients that you are determined to keep moving forward with the changes.

Trying to manage through challenging times isn’t easy as a business owner. However, if you take the task head-on and stay focused on a goal, you’ll be able to maneuver through any crisis thrown at you and even thrive more than ever.

Social Media Marketing 101: 5 Tips for Running a Successful Facebook Ad

Small businesses often look for cost-effective advertising methods. That’s because your advertising budget (and overall budget in general) tends to be a little slim. You may not have the same amount of money as a large corporation does to spend on marketing. Luckily, Facebook has the option of posting and boosting ads that can go as cheap or expensive as you want.

Facebook ads can reach a wide range of audiences. However, if not done correctly, all that time and money spent creating the ad will get lost in news feeds that aren’t relevant to your current clientele. That is why the following five tips provided by reviews for Corporate Business Solutions will help you get the most out of your next Facebook ad.

Make it Eye-Catching

The goal of your ad is to grab the attention of your targeted audience. That is easier said than done. With social media, you need an ad that will stand out amongst all the jumble on an individual’s newsfeed – making an eye-catching and visually appealing ad will do that.

Use online services that allow you to design a graphic or short video to start. Especially if you’re new to social media advertising, getting help from online services will point you in the right direction.

Include a Call to Action

A call to action is a simple tool, yet often overlooked in any ad, not just a Facebook one. Adding a call to action is directing the audience to go precisely where you want them – a particular step that results in a sale for you.

Do not underestimate the value of an excellent call to action. Think of a short phrase (“click here now” or “learn more here,” for example) that tells the reader exactly what to do.

Narrow Down Your Target Audience

It’s crucial to have a defined target audience before you run an ad. That’s because if you pay for an ad without one, you’re wasting money on reaching for an audience that isn’t relevant to your business. Instead, if you narrow down to a more specific audience, your money will go further with your ad.

Track Your Progress

It doesn’t matter how much research and time you put into an ad. You’ll never honestly know how it will perform until you test it. That is why it’s essential to track the progress of your ad.

Facebook offers analytics to your ad. It can be overwhelming at first, but once you learn the basics of these analytics, you’ll be able to adequately track the ad’s performance and make tweaks where necessary.

Always Have a Goal in Mind

As with most aspects of running a business, you need to have a clearly defined goal in mind when creating an ad. Your goal helps narrow down what the ad will be, what details it needs, who you’re targeting, and even when you’ll post the ad.

Don’t let Facebook ads overwhelm you to the point of not even trying them. Yes, they can be challenging at first. However, with a little time and practice, you’ll be able to create an ad that draws in more customers, which eventually equals more sales.

Virtual Meetings: 5 Tips to Keep Your Zoom Meeting Productive

If you asked the business world that one day we would spend more time working remotely and conducting virtual meetings more than anything in-person, many would likely shrug that off. Except, here we are today, and that is precisely the case.

We’ve talked before about how 2020 changed the business world (and the world as a whole, really). The Covid-19 pandemic forced many companies to shift virtually for the majority of their duties. To keep their team connected, Zoom meetings grew exponentially in popularity. As many found out, however, there are more challenges to maintaining a virtual meeting productive.

At Corporate Business Solutions, we know it’s essential to keep your team connected when working remotely. We have five tips to help you keep your Zoom meetings productive.

Invite Those Necessary

Have you ever attended a meeting where you left thinking that was a waste of time? Well, you likely didn’t need to be there. Keep that in mind, when inviting members to a virtual meeting. The more attendees you have, the more challenging it becomes to keep everyone engaged, and the meeting productive. So, invite-only the essentials that will benefit and contribute to the meeting.

Lay Out Ground Rules Before the Meeting

Before you even begin, lay out ground rules for the meeting. Having ground rules can help prevent the meeting from going off-topic, attendees talking over one another, and frustration for you as the leader.

Some ground rules to consider include muting those who aren’t talking, use the “hand up” feature when someone wants to speak, ensure all attendees keep their video on so you know they are paying attention, and that everyone will have an opportunity to speak when called upon. These rules help keep the meeting running smoothly.

Send the Meeting Agenda Beforehand

Those who attend a meeting want to know that it is worth their valuable time, helping keep their focus. One way of doing that is to send an agenda before the meeting begins. Not only does it ensure the attendee that it’s essential for them to attend, but it will also help everyone stay on task.

Keep the Morning Short

Long, drawn-out meetings typically aren’t the most productive. They drag on and lose the attention of the attendees. Some research suggests that the human brain becomes bored in only 10 minutes. Now, that may be a bit too short to run your meeting. However, you can use that timeframe to move onto different topics.

Keep in mind, when you’re conducting virtual meetings, attendees are usually at home. That means there are more distractions compared to being in the office. So, that 10 minutes could become shorter. Keep your meetings short and your topics concise.

Follow Up With Attendees

The best way to know how the meeting went is to hear from those who were at it. Follow-ups are an excellent step to take in the meeting process. It gives you a chance to get feedback to help improve the next meeting, and it allows you to further any discussions that got cut short during the session.

Ready to increase productivity and engagement at your next Zoom meeting? Use the five tips above to boost your meetings.

Like your reflection.

4 Tips to Help You Run a Successful YouTube Channel

YouTube – the second largest search engine available (second to Google). It’s a powerful tool that many small businesses forget or think the platform isn’t for them. However, we’re here to tell you that you should utilize YouTube to reach your audience.

We’ve said it before about the benefits of starting a YouTube channel. Today, we’re here to help you be successful. It’s a tricky platform to gain traction on. With dedication and planning, though, you’ll be able to utilize YouTube to promote and grow your company.

Try the following four tips from CBS-CBS.com and running a successful YouTube channel.

Create a Content Calendar

A content calendar is what it sounds like – a calendar you create that keeps track of all your content. YouTube likely isn’t the online social media platform you’re using (nor should it be). With so many avenues to take, it can get confusing and overwhelming.

Create a content calendar that maps out what you will post on social media and videos you plan to upload throughout the month. Have a separate section that breaks down your YouTube videos so you can plan them out ahead of time.

Consistently Upload

One of the worst things you can do for your YouTube channel is to upload periodically. If you want it to be successful, you need to have a consistent upload schedule.

A good idea is to start with weekly videos, if possible. Don’t set an unrealistic schedule for uploading multiple videos each week. Start at a reasonable level and work your way up if you want to.

Add Call to Actions in Your Video

Call to actions (CTAs) are a powerful statement that tells the viewer what you want them to do. You likely add them to your video description, but have you thought about adding them to your video?

Many YouTubers begin and end their videos with an introduction and a CTA to subscribe to their channel. Throughout the video, you can add CTAs to go to your website or social media accounts. YouTube has the option to add cards that allows the viewer to click and direct them to where you want.

Spend Time on the Title and Description

When searching on YouTube, the first thing you see is the video’s title, a few lines with a brief description, and its cover graphic. These are essential elements of uploading a video and are not ones you should quickly whip up.

Your title should include keywords related to your video. Remember, YouTube is a search engine. That means people are searching for specific words like they would on Google. To get your video recognized, include those keywords in the title and description of every video.

The cover graphic of your video should somewhat resemble what it will be about. It doesn’t have to be anything flashy, and sometimes less is more. However, it does need to grab the viewer’s attention and entice them to click on your video.

Have fun as you create and upload videos. YouTube has the potential for your business to reach a wider audience across the world, and eventually increase your revenue.

Don't blend in.

An Environment for Productivity: 7 Tips for Decorating Your Home Office

Whether you started remote working in 2020 due to the global pandemic, have always worked from home, or looking to have an office space to relax in, how you decorate your home office can have a dramatic impact on your productivity levels.

Your environment plays a role in how you feel and focus. Too much clutter and things going on around you can cause distractions and lead to increased stress. Even the color choice on the walls plays can impact how productive you are.

Design the perfect home office that supports a productive and focused atmosphere. Your Corporate Business Solutions consultants have seven tips to help you out.

Give Yourself Enough Space

Chances are, you’ll spend quite a bit of time in your home office. So, give yourself enough space to work comfortably. Don’t toss a desk in a closet-like room to preserve space in the house, especially if there’s a perfectly fine guest room that rarely gets used.

Let in Natural Light

Again, think about how much time you’ll spend in your office. Imagine how you’ll at the end of the day if you’re in a packed room with no natural light. Eventually, that will take its toll. Having natural light not only brightens up the room for work, but research has shown that it helps create a productive atmosphere.

Set Up Your Office in a Realistic Way

Although a setup may look aesthetically appealing, is it actually practical for when you’re working? If you have to get up frequently to grab something across the room or have a desk with no storage, is it serving its purpose? Set up an office that works for you.

Spend the Money on a High-Quality Chair

Your office needs to be as comfortable as possible, and one of the most critical aspects around that is your desk chair. Maybe you’re tempted to buy something cheap because it’s just a chair. However, you’ll quickly realize that’s a big mistake.

Since you spend hours sitting at your desk, having an ergonomic chair helps support your body and keep you from getting too sore.

Think About Your Wall Colors

Another design element that doesn’t seem like a big deal is the wall colors. Before you slap on a coat of expensive paint, think about how the color could affect your mood. Certain colors help promote a happy, energetic, and productive feeling, while others can promote sleepiness.

Decorate with Minimalistic in Mind

When decorating your office, less is often more. Having many items all over may seem cute at first, but too many of them can end up feeling cluttered. If t you’re sacrificing desk space for picture frames and other knickknacks, it’s time to eliminate a few of them. Remember, your home office is a space for work, not storage.

Keep It Clean

The most important tip to take away when designing your home office is to keep it clean. Many of our recommendations focus on the atmosphere and feeling of the room. That is because if you decorate in a way that makes you uncomfortable, why would you want to spend time in the room?

Use these seven tips to help you design and decorate the perfect home office for you.

Dare to explore.

Learning from a Pandemic – 4 Lessons Covid-19 Taught the Business World

The global pandemic has affected virtually everyone worldwide, whether it be physically, emotionally, and mentally. There is almost no aspect in our lives that hasn’t been impacted by Covid-19, and the business world is no exception.

As we continue to battle the novel virus around us, we can already look back on the last several months as a learning experience. The world grappled with an event, unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetime. With that comes lessons to help us in the future.

Reviews for Corporate Business Solutions understands the impact Covid-19 has had on your business. We take a look at some lessons we’ve already learned from the pandemic, and how we can adjust in the future.

Have a Risk Management Plan Ready

Although there are many instances, like what we’re currently going through, that you can’t plan for, you can have a plan for potential difficulties your business will likely face. Every business will have at least one hardship it must overcome as it grows, no matter the company’s size.

First, identify possible risks you’re likely to face as your business grows. It could be an employee quitting or getting fired, you getting sick and being off work, or hazardous challenges like a fire in the building. These are a few examples that a risk management plan should go over.

Employer-Employee Relationships Are Crucial

For many businesses worldwide, the only way they could continue to operate is if their employees took their offices home. Remote working puts your relationship with your employees to the test. You must have trust and faith in each individual to continue to perform as they would in the office.

These relationships stem past trust – they also include empathy. We’ve learned that showing compassion in difficult times is essential in any relationship, especially when mental health is involved. Moving forward, being empathetic to an employee’s situation will go a long way to maintain that positive relationship.

Personal Development and Growth Never Stops

It doesn’t matter if you run the business or have an employee who just started; you are always growing. With an ever-changing world, what we knew one day could be different tomorrow. Personal development and growth are something that should never end, just because you’ve reached the top of the ladder.

Be Resourceful and Flexible

One of the first things Covid-19 taught the business world is the importance of being flexible and resourceful. Many companies would have gone under if they didn’t change their tactics. Closing your doors doesn’t mean your business has to end.

Take the fitness industry as an example. With gyms and studios abruptly closing, personal trainers and group instructors got creative and moved everything online. Since we have the tools to do so today, the transition from in-person to online classes was relatively simple. However, this is still an excellent example of being resourceful and flexible. Many trainers would have lost their jobs if they didn’t think quickly and switch to online sessions.

 

Use these lessons above to help your business in the future. As we continue to battle with Covid-19, let these lessons remind us that change can bring about positive things.

Like your reflection.

Keep Your Health Top Focus: 7 Simple Ways to Be Healthier at Work

Just because you sit in an office for eight to nine hours a day, that doesn’t mean your life is unhealthy. In fact, with simple, small changes, you can keep your health a top priority while you work.

According to the World Health Organization, a sedentary (physically inactive), life is the leading cause of disease and disability. Lack of physical activity can lead to many issues, including obesity, mental illness, and cardiovascular disease.

Luckily, even the smallest changes in the office can help keep your health in check. Corporate Business Solutions has seven simple ways to be healthier at work.

Pack Your Lunch

It’s your lunch break, and you didn’t bring anything to work. What do you do? Chances are you race over to the nearest fast food joint. Although now and then there is nothing wrong with this, you’re better off to bring your own lunch. That way, you control what you eat, and it will save you money down the road.

Use the Stairs

If you work at a multi-story building, opt for the stairs over the elevator. This simple decision can help you reach the recommended minimum amount of physical activity each week.

Store the Lunchroom with Healthy Options

Instead of handy a candy vending machine in the breakroom, provide healthier alternatives for everyone to try. Swap out the bag of chips for a piece of fruit. Provide flavored water instead of cans of pop.

If the only option available is junk food, of course, that’s what people will go for. However, if you provide healthier options, it’s a step in the right direction to promote a healthier lifestyle.

Stretch Every Hour

Sitting for hours on end won’t do you any good. When you sit for too long, it ends up tightening your hip flexors and hamstrings. These tight muscles can cause lower back pain, make it difficult to walk or stand, and make your life very uncomfortable. When you can, take a moment to stand up, move your body for a few moments before getting back to work.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration wreaks havoc on our bodies and our minds. Lack of water can cause sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and even headaches. Avoid dehydration by having a water bottle at your desk all the time. Once it’s empty, fill it up, so your water is readily available. You can even download apps that remind you to drink water throughout the day.

Take Five Minutes to Yourself

Yes, you’re at the office, which means you’re supposed to be working. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take a few moments to relax your brain and focus on yourself. Taking five minutes to do a quick meditation session at your desk can help you refocus and recharge your mind. Plus, meditation is an excellent way to center yourself and appreciate your surroundings.

Start an Office Workout

Even a five-minute workout session is better than nothing. Adding in a simple workout routine is an excellent step to increase your overall health. Physical activity is known to improve not just your physical health but your mental health as well.

Implement the above seven tips to help keep you healthy while working all day. Don’t let sitting for hours on end cause you to have a sedentary life. These simple adjustments will go a long way for your health.

6 Tips to Help You Effectively Work From Home

Working from home is not as easy as many like to think. There’s the image that working from home means you can get up whenever you want, work at your leisure from your pajamas, schedule daytime appointments, and that it’s a luxurious lifestyle. While that may be true for some, it isn’t always the case.

The truth is that working from home can be just as difficult, sometimes more difficult than going to the office.

When you’re at an office for work, you’re less likely to get distracted by your surroundings as you could at home. You have your working hours that are not to be disrupted. For those who work from home, many quickly find the distractions are too much to stay focused. It’s easy to fall out of routine and ultimately fall behind in work.

Your Corporate Business Solutions Consultants understand the challenges of working from home. Since that has become the norm for many individuals, we have six tips to help you effectively work from home.

Keep Your Regular Working Hours

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to keep your regular hours. Don’t fall into the trap of sleeping in and doing work whenever you please. Instead, keep your regular schedule you would typically have if you went to an office.

Plan Out Each Day

Planning becomes more essential to stay focused when you’re at home. Start your morning off with a few minutes of planning what you need to achieve. It’s the perfect thing to do while you’re enjoying your morning coffee.

Have a Separate Workspace

If you think that you’ll be fine working at the kitchen table with everything else around you, there’s a good chance it won’t happen. Although for some, the household distractions don’t bother them, and they have no issue working anywhere in the house. For the majority, though, that separate workspace is significant. It’ll help you stay organized and keep things quiet so you can work efficiently.

Separate Your Work Life and Personal Life

A challenge many people face is the overlapping of work and personal time. When the two start to intertwine, you’ll find yourself working in the evenings and on weekends. You end up feeling like you’re always working and never have time off. So, by keeping your work life and personal life separate, it allows you to turn off your work mode so you can enjoy the other aspects of your life.

Give Yourself Breaks

It doesn’t matter where you work. You need to take breaks. Studies have found that when you take breaks in your day, it actually can boost productivity and creativity. Not only that, but for your mental health, those breaks give you a chance to destress and compose yourself before heading back to the job.

Dress for Success

As tempting as it is to stay in your pajamas while working from home if you want to be the most effective, dress for the day. When you’re wearing sweats and a baggy t-shirt, how do you usually feel? Likely like you want to relax the day away. Instead, when you put on clothes that you normally would for work, it can bring you into the productive mindset you need for the day.

As many people around the world continue to work from home this year, use the above tips to help you stay productive for a successful day of work.

Worried About the Survival of Your Company? 5 Tips to Revive a Struggling Business

How often do you hear this – over half of new businesses will fail in their first year. That’s a scary statistic. However, it isn’t entirely true.

The recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that in the first two years of operation, 20 percent of businesses will close. That number increases as the years go on, but it does show that you have a fighting chance.

Every business will go through some rough periods. Unfortunately, some companies can survive those difficult times while others end up closing their doors for good.

Is your company during those difficult moments and wondering how you’ll move forward? CBS-CBS.com has a few tips to help you revive your struggling business.

Take a Step Back to Identify the Issue

Before you can begin moving forward, you need to identify the problem. If you try to revamp your entire company without first determining where the issue truly lies, you could end up in the same position relatively quickly.

Look at when you were the most profitable compared to right now. What has changed since then? It could be the market is changing, and your company hasn’t, your management style shifted, or maybe it’s the economy, and your customers can’t afford to spend right now. Once you have that reason, then you can develop a plan.

Revamp Your Marketing Plan

When’s the last time you’ve taken a look at your marketing plan and seen those analytics behind it? Sometimes, all you need to do is freshen up your marketing strategy to engage with your current clients and reach new ones.

Adjust Your Business Model

Adjusting your business model can bring business back to life. However, it isn’t an easy task. As the world changes year after year, your business must adapt to these changes. If you’re still doing the same thing you did for the last few years and noticed a decline, it could be time to adjust your business model to keep up with modern times.

Boost Internal Moral

What happens behind the scenes of business eventually spews out into the public. That means, if your company culture is negative, your customers will soon pick up on that.

The consumer often wants to support companies that provide a happy, healthy, and encouraging work environment. If your team struggles to work together or simply don’t want to come to work, a morale boost could be what your struggling business needs to thrive once again.

Make Cuts

In some circumstances, cutting costs can help a business get back to thriving. Maybe you were once spending extra dollars on luxuries to make life a bit easier for you as the owner. If those additional costs are coming at the expense of your success, it’s time to make some cuts.

In other circumstances, though, making cuts is only a band-aid solution and not addressing the root issue. However, making cuts could give you the time to determine the actual problem that needs fixing.

Failure to control costs is one of the primary reasons a business fails. If you are aiming to have a 10 percent profit, that means you have to run your business so that your expenses equal 90 percent of every dollar you take in.  You need to create what is called a managerial accounting system that pays yourself first. You are entitled to the salary of what it would reasonably cost to run the company if you were hiring someone to run it for you as well as your predetermined profitability.  Together, your salary, plus your planned profit becomes the Total Ownership Return. By paying yourself first rather than getting paid what is left over after all the expenses are paid, it will create the internal management discipline to make the necessary decisions to cut costs so that your business can pay your what you deserve while becoming a profitable business for the long-term.

The tips above could help you get your business back to where it used to be and even more profitable than before.